“Popcorn Lung” -caused by Diacetyl

September 6, 2007 at 5:25 pm (Health Issues)


~~Boring Post Alert~~

you’ve been warned-

Diacetyl-induced bronchiolitis obliterans, or “Popcorn Lung” as it is more commonly known, is a weird disease that causes a lung’s tiny air passages to become blocked by scar tissue and inflammation, eventually causing the person to be unable to blow air out of their lungs.

Diacetyl, which is a natural byproduct of a certain kind of fermentation, causes harmful gasses when heated, and it is a common ingredient in microwave popcorn, because of its buttery taste and aroma.

Workers in flavoring and microwave popcorn factories have died from this malady, and many more have had to have lung transplants to survive. Even one consumer (who ate two bags of microwave popcorn each day for years) got it.

Several companies are removing the ingredient from their popcorn, and there is some pressure now on the FDA to attempt a ban on it, and California may ban it before that.

Just thought it was interesting!

lung-pic.pngThis link has a short article, and two short news videos to watch about it.

This blog looks interesting, and this is a link to another short article about it, forgive its misspelling. Angry Toxicologist

I’d just like to point out… This is more evidence that the FDA does not/cannot keep harmful substances out of the food industry. Note the senator in the video mentioning that diacetyl hasn’t ever been tested for safety. Ever.

Anyways. I’m hungry for popcorn now. >_>

For reals.



  1. Nicolas Ward said,

    If the companies are all removing the chemical, there doesn’t seem to be a need to ban it – market pressure is taking care of the problem. Also, the ban may be too strict, and limit a useful (and safe) application of it. Market > Regulation.

  2. Sy said,

    But how many people died, had to have major surgery, or had their lungs permanently damaged in the long years before “market pressure” finally took care of it?

    =( Money is king in this country. It’s really too bad that human health takes a second seat to Big Corporations almost every time.

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